Social Advertising Market Section Review



Georgy Molodtsov, Social Advertising Laboratory Creative Director, filmmaker

Vladimir Vainer, Creative Director of Grand Prix Advertising Research Center, Director of Gladway Foundation for the development of media projects and social programs


Moderators opened the Section’s work by showing the successful and much talked of social campaigns carried out abroad. George Perlov (US Ad Council expert) also shared his experience with the Russian colleagues, and in a shotgun interview he spoke of a number of effective projects conducted in the USA. Comparative analysis of Russian and American social campaigns shows that interactions between customers, producers, instruments and resources in Russia is still poorly developed. The Section’s participants and experts called this system a market – an institutional union of subjects of socially significant activities, of mechanisms and materials they use. Experts regretfully acknowledged that not all the market players that should be present on the Russian social advertising market are aware of this necessity. The positioning of resources, players, participants as well as the current situation in the social advertising market of Russia has become the agenda of the discussion of this Section.


Social advertising market has just started to develop in Russia, however, according to Vladimir Vainer, it is already “oversaturated with initiative”. It is a natural process of the professional market formation, and the rate of its growth is an index of the demand for the market’s development. Vladimir Vainer spoke about the all-Russian media library of social advertising called – one the leading projects of 2012 started by the Gladway Foundation with the support of many non-commercial, governmental and commercial structures. This bank of the ready social solutions accurately reflects the current situation in the market: main customers, problems catching the public’s interest, media ready to place social advertisements and the types of ads that are most popular.



 Association of Communications Agencies of Russia (ACAR) representative Ilya Kaykin told about “Not Your Business?!” campaign. Leading creative agencies participated in this project, they selected socially significant topic they felt interested in, developed advertisements and promoted them. This campaign operated under the framework of ACAR’s Social Responsibility Commission. The organization helps NGOs and other initiators of socially significant activities to implement and place announcements.


Svetlana Gorbacheva (The Head of Marketing and Communications Group at CAF Russia) spoke of the program “Socially Active Media” realized under CAF’s supervision. The program’s initiators select good quality social advertisements offered by non-commercial and commercial sectors of Russia, provide winners with information support and facilitate their materials placement in the media.  



Social advertising has become popular with commercial mass media, the Conference revealed. The First Popular Television Company (St. Petersburg) headed by Mikhail Burtsev has been running a social campaign called “Kind Transport” for the past two years in the city. Ads placed on the outside and the inside of public transport are oriented at all the traffic participants and aims at developing new social norms by means of positive emotions instead of shock and fear. Campaign has been fully initiated by the TV channel, which is a rare practice in Russia.


Nadezhda Breiman (MIR Radio Company Director) explained why her company is interested in social advertising: “To develop our brand we need audience trust, and social advertising is an instrument helping to gain it. This is why we are ready to place radio announcements free of charge, just if they are of good quality”.  Participants hope that soon the rest of the commercial sector comes to this awareness, and when they actively participate in the market processes social problems will be solved more effectively. Absence of financing is the biggest hindrance for the non-commercial organizations; this is why many projects still remain unrealized.


The second part of the discussion was devoted to education and festival movement facing their problems of their own during the process of civilized market formation. Guzella Nikolaishvili and Georgy Molodtsov presented participants of the distance learning multimedia course “Contemporary Technologies of Social Advertising”, run by the Social Advertising Laboratory with the support of the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia, covering 12 regions of Russia  ( The project’s regional participants presented and commented on their festivals – P.O.R.A (Omsk), Gorodskaya Sreda (Ufa), Glass (Ekaterinburg), Mirumir (St. Petersburg) – territories that annually demonstrate an interesting range of social advertising projects both Russian and foreign. However, good quality materials often do not go beyond the local competition, just a few of the winners get realized. To solve this problem it is necessary to attract not just NGOs and the state, but also commercial mass media to the organization of events of such level. Surgut has become one more region, this time from the north, where we see a growing initiative to create a professional expert community. The city recently hosted the II Social Advertising District Forum. This area is developing successfully and quickly thanks to a solid business support and media support. There is hope that Russian business in other regions will also recognize the need for this type of activity.


Social advertising is tightly connected with the educational system: students take active part in such projects. Higher education system point of view was delivered by Dmitry Shevchenko (Advertising and Marketing Department Head at the Russian State University For The Humanities). He explained why students need social advertising – it contributes to the development of professionalism and competence, especially for those students involved with communications. This kind of practice provides invaluable experience and portfolio records. Besides, Mr. Shevchenko stepped forward with an interesting initiative – he offered to open advertising museum where sufficient space would be given to social advertising sector. “Good quality and effective examples are a guarantee of the other works’ high level”, he said in conclusion.


The Section’s work defined the main vector of social advertising market development and potential opportunities for its players to achieve their goals, also, the role and influence of the Conference in this dynamic process was stated. It became clear, social advertising market gradually attracts new players. A range of professional instruments and a working scheme of actions are also available, which is a guarantee of the successful functioning of the system in general. Social advertising market potential is ample enough, although it is necessary to re-distribute the roles correctly and to facilitate interaction among the market players. Obviously, processes taking place in this market are positive. The main problem lies in the absence of integration among all the players of this developing market. Such expert gatherings as the annual international conference “Raising Effectiveness of Social Advertising in Russia” are created to facilitate interaction of the system’s components and enhance experience exchange among the professionals.


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